Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Mark Silvestri, Michael Broussard, Joe Weems, Rick Basaldua, Sal Regla, and Sunny Gho of IFS
Release Date: October 26th, 2011
This story begins like many other Hulk tales; tragic, alone, angry, and absent from happiness… until Hulk eventually gives in and finds some sort of satisfaction. It’s a familiar tale. You know the one where the most WANTED or hated man finds a way to hide from the people that want him dead. Well, Hulk managed to do that in the Center of the Earth with a tribe of Moloids. (I didn’t see that one coming..) Let’s smash into this inaugural issue of INCREDIBLE HULK #1 (2011) by Jason Aaron to see what our Big Green Goliath is doing in the Center of the Earth.
Readers, leave it to Jason Aaron to take something so familiar about the Incredible Hulk but add a few twists to make it his own. Sure, Hulk has battled monsters, villains, heroes, and entire worlds before but not at the Earth’s core. Furthermore, he’s also tried to hide and be left alone… but not at the Earth’s core. Basically, this issue begins like your classic Hulk story. However, Aaron is a master of taking the typical, updating it, and pulling readers into his story rather quickly. This reader was locked in after the opening three pages. And other than a minor issue towards the end, I was immensely captivated by this inaugural issue. Plus, I didn’t realize how fast the issue was cruising along until it was over, which made for an easy read and a perfect jumping-on point for any new reader interested in dipping their toe into a Hulk story.
Additionally, Mark Silvestri’s illustrations hit on the classic PLANET HULK/ WORLD BREAKER look with his own poetic style that resembled a gamma infused Conan the Barbarian, which I have never seen before. Silvestri’s monsters looked visceral and the intricate detail in our rugged Hulk was outstanding. This Hulk is simply stunning and Silvestri amplifies his sheer size and strength repeatedly throughout the issue as he plasters Hulk beside monsters and Moloids alike.
This reader had very few complaints throughout this issue other than the name choice of the new character introduced towards the end of the story as well as moments of dialogue on the last few pages of the issue. This new character’s last name shares a common last name of a Mega-villain in the Marvel Landscape. However, it seems trivial and pointless to the story. Additionally, it’s referenced and thrown away like it was nothing. This new character’s last name could have been anything and the same purpose and connection would have been made. So, why throw the last name in there? Maybe we will find out later? But right now, it seemed pointless and arbitrary.
And finally, the dialogue amongst the mutated creatures at the end of the issue was difficult to follow and hard to interpret. I totally get what Aaron was trying to do. He wanted readers to see how juvenile these weird creatures are, however, it came at the expense of ripping me out of the story towards the very end where the cliffhanger should smack you in the face. And let me tell you, it’s a big cliffhanger, which is why the discussion amongst the mutated creatures really disrupts the sheer magnitude of that event.
This is a uniquely familiar story that Aaron plunges readers into that left this Hulk fan asking one huge question related to that cliffhanger, which if I ask it, I’d spoil the premise of the issue. My point is; Jason Aaron immediately hooks readers and leaves them wanting answers. Plus, the choice of Silvestri on art sashayed an amazingly Conan-like Hulk that resembled a gamma charged, Hyborian born Barbarian which I never thought I’d ever see. Together with Aaron, these two are more than prepared to break new ground on this smashing inaugural tale that I hope everyone gives a look. If you’re an INCREDIBLE HULK or Jason Aaron fan, this series is perfect for you. Plus, it’s easy to follow and an excellent place to jump in on the Hulk. If you’re interested in this series, click HERE to grab the INCREDIBLE HULK (2011) trade by Jason Aaron and read along with me from home. I think you’ll really enjoy it! If Jason Aaron is your jam, click HERE for more of his amazing works on Amazon. And finally, if you’d like to get caught up with the current IMMORTAL HULK run by Al Ewing, click HERE for all related trades.